I came across this fantastic online book that is downloadable for free — no registration or “survey” required. I’ve read through a couple of chapters, and this is definitely on my reading list. When offering aid to anyone, it’s always important to know and understand your scope of care. But, I’ve also always found it’s best to know more than your scope of care allows you to do. It simply makes you a better care provider.

Jump to the Online Book

The same website has several other interesting titles, so after reading “Where There Is No Doctor”, look around a bit for other downloads you might like.


The city of Sammamish is conducting their second annual 4th of July celebration. KCSARA has again been asked to help with the day. 4×4 Rescue Council is coordinating Security and Support, while SPART is coordinating a Medical Patrol.

If any members of KCSARA — regardless of unit — would like to help out, either of these groups would love you to contact them. For Security and Support, contact Carl Leon, for Medical Patrol, contact Randy Riggs. The City of Sammamish is expecting about 20,000 people at the event, so we’ve been asked to significantly increase our numbers across the board. We really could use your help!

There are no bad seats in the park for the fireworks. Just about everywhere feels like you’re immediately under the show. In addition, there will be booths and rides, along with an existing skate park. SPART and 4×4 will be pulling together some sort of party (possibly a potluck) as we get close to the event, so bring your friends & family and enjoy the entire afternoon.

Our duties at the celebration will begin at 5:00 PM, run throughout the fireworks, and continue until we get the crowd cleared out, about 11:30 PM.

Again, we could use your help, and your friends & family will have a great time! If you need contact info for Carl or Randy, drop me an email and I’ll forward on your interest.

UPDATE: SPART would like to include that they can use anyone with at least basic first aid. EMTs and OECs will be appreciated, but any member can help out. So come and have fun!

If you missed the Frontline episode on the 1996 storm that trapped three climbing teams on Everest, you can watch the entire program online at pbs.org. There’s also additional information available on the story, and the making of the episode.

Jump to the Website

SPART’s organizing a medical patrol for the Seafair Marathon on June 29th as part of their annual Beach Medical operations. They’ll be utilizing members from several units. It you want to help out, contact Carl Wheeler or Randy Riggs. Beach Medical is a closed committee, and signing up through any other means than Randy or Carl will not get you in as part of this Seafair Committee.

The course has moved this year to start at Husky Stadium, cross the 520 floating bridge (not normally accessible by foot), through waterfront neighborhoods in Kirkland and Bellevue, ending at the Bellevue Downtown Park. There is also a half marathon and a kids Mini Marathon on the same day.

Read more about the marathon

Several years ago KCSARA was contacted regarding our policies on Suspension Trauma (AKA Harness Syndrome). At the time I had never heard of the syndrome, and Greg Prothman with SMR helped me find out more information on the topic.

I’ve recently run across a website that is dedicated to providing advice and education about suspension trauma and associated conditions. The site has a lot of information about what causes this hidden killer, as well as an approach rescuers can take to mitigate the effects.

Jump To The Website

Washington Trails Association (WTA) is again hosting Trailsfest on July 19th, 2008. And, KCSARA will again be represented by a couple of unit displays, a first aid station, and a lost child station. I’m contacting units now about participating with one of the displays.

Come up and join us! Trailsfest offers a full day of hands-on learning and exploration. Many vendors and organizations have booths each year and offer a chance to try out their products or services in a fun no-hassle environment. There’s also several classrooms open with different presenters and topics throughout the day.

Trailsfest will be along the shore of Rattlesnake Lake, near North Bend, on July 19th.

The satellite phone based SPOT emergency location device was discussed during the KCSARA Governing Body meeting in September 2007. A recent rescue in Scotland highlights its usefulness. It might just be a matter of time before we have a similar experience here.

From the article: “Niels VIntner, a Danish walker, was taken ill in the Glen Etive area, reportedly with acute stomach pains. Vintner was carrying a new emergency location device which allows walkers to be tracked via satellites and when he became ill, he pressed an emergency button which alerted a control room in Houston, Texas.”

Read The Article

A regional distributer has asked about presenting SPOT at a future KCSARA meeting. If there’s interest I’ll be happy to call him up to set a date.

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to post something on this topic. I’ve never encountered a case of hyponatremia myself, but we might have encountered this and just not known what we were dealing with. This is certainly a condition that we should be aware can occur.

From the article: “According to the authors, risk factors for the development of exercise-associated hyponatremia are low body weight, female gender, greater than 4 hours of continuous exercise, slow performance pace, inexperience with the activity, excessive water drinking, kidney dysfunction, and hot environmental conditions.”

Read The Article

Chris Terpstra sent me a link to a Seattle Times article on the number of people killed, or missing, in avalanches this year. Sadly, an additional person was lost in Snohomish County just last evening. That’s nine lives so far, and the majority of the season is still ahead of us. To put that in perspective, excluding the 1910 Wellington disaster, Washington normally sees about 1 fatality a year due to avalanches.

Backcountry travelers should always be wary when venturing out. From late Fall through Early spring, everyone in the wilderness should be carrying a shovel, probe, and an avalanche transceiver, in addition to normal survival gear. Travelers should have taken a course in avalanche safety, and should always check the backcountry avalanche conditions.

Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the fatalities.

KCSO’s December meeting with the Unit Leaders involved discussions on Avalanche Training, Passports/WAC expirations, Roster Control, Field Deployment, Personal Equipment, Snow Shoes, and ICS. For more information you can download the meeting minutes as either an MS Word file, or an Acrobat/PDF File.

File Name PDF DOC
Unit Leaders Meeting Minutes 37Kb 23Kb


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